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Why are three college seniors in influential White House posts?

Three weeks ago, we learned an undergraduate student was hired for an influential White House post. Evidently, he wasn't the only one.
The White House On Election Day
Zach Gibson / Getty Images

Office of Personnel Management chief Dale Cabaniss left her post this week, it had nothing to do with social distancing or crisis layoffs. Rather, as the Washington Post reported, she resigned because of problems within the Trump administration.

The federal personnel director quit with no notice Tuesday after five months on the job, leaving the agency that oversees workplace policy for 2.1 million civil servants with no leader amid the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the reporting, Cabaniss, who has extensive experience overseeing civil service issues and enjoys bipartisan backing, was being micromanaged by the White House budget office. She also reportedly classed with John McEntee, Donald Trump's former personal assistant, who recently returned to the White House to lead the Presidential Personnel Office.

According to multiple accounts, McEntee has also launched an effort to root out those deemed insufficiently loyal to the president and his agenda.

The timing could be better. Politico reported last night, "The departure casts a cloud of uncertainty over the federal workforce as it struggles to decide how to handle the coronavirus outbreak, with growing questions about the Trump administration's decision to keep most government offices open and how it is handling remote work."

The same article added, however, that John Troup Hemenway has been brought on to assist the deputy director of the Presidential Personnel Office, despite the fact that Hemenway is still an undergraduate student who's expected to graduate in December.

And if that dynamic sounds at all familiar, it may be because he's not the only undergraduate student taking on new responsibilities on Team Trump right now.

Politico reported two weeks ago, for example, that Anthony Labruna is now serving as deputy White House liaison at the Department of Commerce, despite the fact that he's still a senior at Iowa State.

A week earlier, we learned that 23-year-old James Bacon, another undergraduate, is also now helping lead the White House Presidential Personnel Office.

It was tough to have confidence in the president's team before. It's a little worse now.